Compass, a real estate brokerage company, has filed its plans for an IPO with the SEC. The move comes in spite of the Compass‘ recent layoff of 15% of its staff and a net loss of $270 million for 2020.
The loss was down, however, from $388 million in 2019. Compass recorded a record $3.7 billion in revenue for 2020, marking a 56% increase from the previous year. In 2019, before the whole Coronavirus crisis, Compass was valued at $6.4 billion after a financing round led by SoftBank. And, even with the economic crisis caused by Covid, the company states that home prices in America still rose in value by 10% at the end of 2020.
Founded in 2012 by Israelis Ori Alon and CEO Robert Refkin, Compass boasts that it is building the first modern real estate platform, pairing the industry’s top talent with technology to make the search and sell experience intelligent and seamless.
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Compass says that it delivers an “incomparable experience” to both agents and their clients and that its mission is to “help everyone find their place in the world.” Compass operates in 22 different regions across the United States including New York, Los Angeles and Orange County, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., South Florida, The Hamptons, Santa Barbara & Montecito, San Diego, Seattle & Eastside, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Westchester, Aspen, Boulder, Denver, Atlanta, Austin & Central Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Nashville, and Lake Tahoe.
Robert Refkin explained in the SEC filing why he created Compass. “I started Compass because of my mom, Ruth. As a single mother who provided for our little family entirely on her own, she embodies the entrepreneurial spirit.”
Compass says that its platform provides a strong foundation for agents to create and foster client relationships. Its CRM platform enables agents to develop automated yet customizable “drip campaigns” to stay in touch with their contacts at key moments and over time. Through its Marketing Center, agents can market their own personal brands by creating marketing collateral—digital ads, videos, listing presentations, email newsletters, print advertising and signage—as well as execute marketing campaigns, with mere minutes of effort.
The company states that its agents designed over a million different pieces of marketing content through the platform in 2020. Powered by AI, its CRM provides recommendations to agents on whom to contact as potential sellers or prospective buyers. As a result, their agents are able to focus their energy on high value clients, which can lead to more transactions and more revenue.